Message from SIG Chair
Message from SIG Chair


SIG Chair

Message from the Chair 

Magda Pando638237479170224411


It is with immense gratitude and humility that I assume the role of Chair of the AERA Bilingual Education Research SIG for the 2023-2024 academic year. Thank you for entrusting me to serve our SIG in this capacity. Year 2023 marks 50 years of existence as a Special Interest Group. As we work together this year to address AERA’s 2024 theme “Dismantling Racial Injustice and Constructing Educational Possibilities: A Call to Action,” I invite you to reflect on past, present and future endeavors in bilingual/multilingual education and to strive for continuous growth, impact and innovation in our field. By evaluating the past and present landscape and envisioning the possibilities that lie ahead, we engage in collective action to strive towards a more equitable and impactful educational future.

As I reflect on the repeal of Affirmative Action by the U.S. Supreme Court, I come to one resolution. Today I reaffirm my race, bilingualism, biliteracy, and bicultural identity as a LGBTQ+ Latina woman of color by renewing and re-envisioning my commitment as an advocate and agent of change in education. Changes in political and social conditions and racial inequities embolden us to reaffirm our position as collaborators, allies and advocates in solidarity. It is imperative we renew and strengthen our commitment towards racial and social justice by adapting and engaging in innovative and transformative research methods to emancipate ourselves from exclusionary practices so that we may grow, promote and practice inclusivity. For our SIG, this event marks embarking on a heightened transformative journey and call to action. Attacks by state and federal law on Race, Women, LGBTQ+ youth and community, BIPOC, immigrants and refugees, Diversity Excellence and Inclusion statements and practices, faculty promotion and tenure policy, and curricula that uncover covert systems of oppression, present us with new challenges in the work we presently do and the opportunity to plan ahead for future impacts. I invite us to contest neutral, color-blind and gender biased ideologies with counter narratives that leverage value in diversity for being different in physical appearance, different for the variety of languages we speak, different in our styles of communication, different in gender and sexual orientation, and different for how we construct meaning, conduct research and contribute to knowledge to create spaces and conditions for optimal learning potential as equitable educational opportunity.

As Chair of the BER SIG, I wholeheartedly commit to fostering diversity, excellence and inclusion through innovation to promote equity. I invite you to join and continue to contribute to our SIG to counter exclusionary practices with inclusive ones, strive for continuous growth and impact, leverage diverse perspectives and epistemologies, and engage in courageous conversations that accelerate equity, racial, and social justice. Let us embark on this transformative journey together to empower one another as researchers, teachers, advocates and educational stakeholders in community. Let us emancipate ourselves from deficit perspectives, color blindness, gender-biased and neutral ideologies, exclusionary policy and practices, to leverage inclusivity and embrace our differences by voicing value and respect for all.

Today we evaluate past and present, to continue the work we do and envision greater impact for equity, social and racial justice. Today, we celebrate our past 50 years of solidarity as the BER SIG and the historical impact we have made since the birth of the SIG in 1973.  I invite us all to address present day challenges to lead the future work of our SIG, to create educational opportunity for all, while celebrating and learning from our past accomplishments. Let us be confident and courageous critical thinkers, practitioners, researchers and advocates, and continue to be innovative and transformative agents of change for inclusivity.

Please join our efforts, get involved in our SIG’s working groups and award committees, nominate yourself or colleagues to join the BER SIG Executive Leadership Team, and help to promote the work we do as a community.

I look forward to serving the Bilingual Education Research SIG this year.

In solidarity,

Chair, Bilingual Education Research (BER) SIG, 2023-2024